Query on structural properties
lachlan_mackenzie at hotmail.com
Fri Dec 18 16:31:50 UTC 2009
Just last week I was on the examinations board for a doctoral thesis defended at VU University Amsterdam which was a grammar of a language with most of the properties you list. The language is Mamaindê, a Northern Nambikwara language of Mato Grosso, Brazil, the author is David M. Eberhard and the supervisor Leo Wetzels. The thesis is available on line from http://www.lotpublications.nl/index3.html.
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> From: dlevere at ilstu.edu
> Date: Fri, 18 Dec 2009 08:17:36 -0500
> To: LINGTYP at LISTSERV.LINGUISTLIST.ORG; FUNKNET at mailman.rice.edu
> Subject: [FUNKNET] Query on structural properties
> I am interested in beginnng a statistical study on the relative rarity of the following patterns (this query will not be the basis for the study! Just a tool to start gathering data). I am first interested in knowing of languages that have any one of the specific properties below. Next I am interested in learning of any languages that are described by any subset of these. Please respond to me individually, rather than to the list as a whole. I will post a summary if there are enough responses. I would particularly appreciate any suggestions for particular corpora to consult in rarer languages.
> Thanks very much in advance for your answers.
> 1. The language lacks independent factive verbs and epistemic verbs (not counting the verb 'to see').
> 2. The language has no morphosyntactic marker of subordination.
> 3. It has no coordinating disjunctive particles (no words like 'or').
> 4. It has no coordinating conjunctive particle (no words like 'and').
> 5. No unambiguous complement clauses (no strong evidence for embedding as opposed to juxtaposition).
> 6. No multiple possession (no structures like 'John's father's son' - whether pre or postnominal) .
> 7. No multiple modification (no structures like 'two big red apples').
> 8. No scope from one clause into another: 'John does not believe you left' (where 'not' can negate 'believe' or 'left', as in 'It is not the case that John believes that you left' vs. 'It is the case that John believes that you did not leave')
> 9. No long-distance dependencies:
> 'Who do you think John believes __ (that Bill saw__)?'
> 'Ann, I think he told me he tried to like ___'
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